What is Enterprise Content Management?

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) refers to a system of curating, storing, protecting, and delivering content to your employees, business partners, and customers. In essence, ECM includes most of the duties and responsibilities of a library, but for your business. 

As businesses now produce many different forms of content, ECM software solutions have also evolved to properly curate them. Depending on your business and its needs, you may need to catalog video and audio files, social media and email content, office documents, graphics, web content, and much more. 

What business practices benefit most from ECM?  
For organizations with a lot of content, an effective ECM solution can get information into the right hands quickly and efficiently, while keeping it out of the wrong hands. ECM software is especially effective in the following areas: 

  • Contracts: ECM software allows its users to make sure that contracts are reviewed, edited, and approved in a timely fashion. 
  • HR: Get rid of bulky paper personnel files and streamline your entire onboarding process. 
  • Accounts payable: Minimize penalties and late fees with software that allows you to approve invoices quickly. 
  • Accounts Receivable: Send bills faster and get paid sooner with intuitive access to purchase orders, invoices, and receipts. 

Why is ECM more important than it was in the past? 

ECM software boosts productivity and efficiency, because of escalating cybersecurity threats ECM has become increasingly important and complex. If your company’s sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, it could be very damaging to your business. Depending on your business’s location and your industry, it could also lead to legal trouble. 

Relying on paper documents and physical storage may feel more secure, but in many ways, it presents an even greater liability. Even if you were able to keep every single document under lock and key, your staff wouldn’t be able to access them quickly and easily. And when you don’t keep documents under lock and key, sensitive information is available to anyone and everyone who enters your space. 

Paper documents, the equipment needed to produce them, and the physical space to store them may be costing you more than you think. There’s the cost associated with all that paper, all that toner or ink, and all the space required to physically store the documents you generate. The longer you delay switching to a fully digital system, the longer these costs will eat into your profits. 

As the pace of business increases, and adaptability to change is necessary for survival, business leaders will need to make business decisions more quickly. A wealth of properly organized information that’s integrated with business intelligence or business analytics tools can help inform those decisions. 

Industries that use ECM 

Industries that have embraced ECM tend to be those that need to produce and manage a lot of documents or those that are bound by compliance regulations, although more organizations are beginning to follow suit.  

  • Government: Red tape is a popular idiom for a reason. Starting in the 16th century, European governments used red tape as a binding material for high-priority documents. Government organizations are prolific document producers and need to track different versions, as well as process, protect, and preserve them. ECM software can accomplish these tasks handily. 
  • Healthcare: Healthcare organizations must secure massive numbers of patient records to comply with data privacy laws. Should they fail to provide timely access or maintain security, they could face heavy penalties. Healthcare pays the highest price for data breaches, so it makes sense that hospitals and clinics have been eager to embrace any technology that helps them remain compliant. 
  • Finance: Anywhere you find high-volume transactions that must be processed by human beings, you will also find security and efficiency issues. ECM software is incredibly helpful for all aspects of account management, mortgage lending, and credit card processing. 
  • Engineering: ECM software can also help engineering firms digitize drawings, schemes and high-tech documents, and track any changes throughout the planning stages. 
  • Legal: Law firms can win or lose cases depending on how effectively they wield information. Research, case information, and court documents must be tracked, shared, and protected. ECM software has proven itself to be a nimble and effective weapon. 

 The benefits of ECM 

In listing the industries that frequently use this software and why, some of the main benefits of ECM are already clear. However, beyond basic efficiency, it’s worth highlighting a few of the finer points below: 

  • Eliminate confusion resulting from multiple versions of the same document 
  • Improve organization 
  • Reduce the risk of data loss 
  • Meet compliance goals 
  • Save physical space 
  • Reduce costs associated with high-volume document sharing 
  • Speedier resolution of customer service-related issues 
  • Easier data recovery in the case of a cybersecurity incident 
  • Improve analytics capabilities 
  • Boost productivity 

Is ECM right for your business?  

If your staff frequently struggles to access your information in a timely fashion, file organization is a frequent pain point, or you’re concerned about data loss, it might be time to discuss possible ECM solutions with an expert. ECM software is highly customizable and can be a game-changer for organizations large and small. 

Tri-Copy is here to help!  

Tri-Copy's software specialists recommend Sentryfile, however, there are many other options. Our experts can help you determine which ECM solution is right for you, and we can also implement, monitor, and provide support for the option you choose. Give us a call at 770-716-7558 to set up a consultation to discuss your ECM needs.  

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